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I am not a great fan of Kenneth Clarke but I have read these proposals with an open mind and find nothing that raises even one hackle for me.

I have long said that we pay for too many MPs as none are permitted individual freedom to represent their own constituents or their own conscience.

I think that there are over 100 Ministers of some kind or another at present. Some have a portfolio so obscure that it comes as a shock when one of them appears as an Education or Transport Minister. It has been said here that experienced civil servants should perform those functions and I am sure they would do a better job as they would not be switched every 6 months or so.

If Prime Minister's Questions cannot be made into a purposeful debate it should be scrapped. The Leader of the Opposition askes some question designed to embarrass the PM who replies by sneeringly spitting out a torrent of statistics whilst the backbenchers, well marinaded, indulge in a chorus of yobbish cheers or jeers. The most cringeworthy occasions of the year are the sycophants rising to congratulate the PM on the increased standard of pavement repair under New Labour compared with the dreadful Thatcher years when no single paving stone was ever repaired or replaced. All I can think of as I witness that nonsense is that I wish the "questioner" would crawl back under one of the stones.

Perhaps the Speaker team should also be civil servants with special training.

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